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flag US - Nebraska - Full Moon 60 - 09/02/01

Bright Eyes
So What!, Oslo, 27.08.01

Vow!! Some concerts leave you sort of numb and speechless. Like this one. Bright Eyes. Conor Oberst and a company of five. Guitar, drums, steel guitar, bass guitar, oboe, clarinet. And of course the stunning voice power of Conor. So intense, like arrows, like heavy spears, like missiles, like x-rays.

This was Bright Eyes second visit to Oslo in less than a year. How could I miss last year's show? Anyway this is now, and I was present. The music kicked off with Conor sitting laidback with his acoustic guitar on his lap in an armchair, while the band backed him quite relaxed. They started really slow and careful. In fact most of the set was quite toned down. Quite a shy and introvert performance, with not much chatting with the audience. Conor barely looking up, drinking off a water bottle (which later 'turned' to wine...). But why bother talking when you're able to give away songs of such quality and beauty. Less (speaken) is more (said). Midway through the concert Conor did say somthing, when introducing one of the songs with "it's about unfaithful women, my favourite theme...". Crowd laughing. Did Conor smile as well? A twitch in his eye? A little later he said "so let's add a touch of humor to the show". He can't be as serious as he seems, as his music implies. Or? A depressed and suffering genius? As told in the 'fake' (?) interview on Fevers And Mirrors:'s more a need for sympathy - I want people to feel sorry for me. I like to feel the burn of the audience's eyes on me while I'm whispering all of my secrets into the microphone... Well, touch of humor...

The intensity of the show raised, but Conor kept seated, twisting, turning in the armchair, as he spitted out songs of despair and beauty. The steel guitar added the most perfect atmosphere, taking the show to heights where you start to snap for air. Among the songs there were many taken from last years album, Fevers And Mirrors, such as A Spindle, A Darkness, A Fever, And A Needle, a sparkling The Calendar Hung Itself, the fragile (more than ever) An Attempt To Tip The Scales, and a totally blistering version of Sunrise, Sunset. Off letting off the Happiness they played the great If Winter Ends and the brilliant Touch. The latter closed the evening (I think, being one of the 2 xtra songs), and Conor threw the guitar and ran off stage.

This was one of these nights. One of the gigs this year, along with Blonde Redhead. So, we simply had to go barflying afterwards, of course...

Copyright © 2001 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Bright Eyes articles/reviews: Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, Fevers And Mirrors, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, Letting Off The Happiness.

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